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HTX Wonderful Weddings 2014
Always a bridesmaid

Bridesmaid confessions: 24 dresses (worn only once) and lots of colorful wedding memories

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Tina Agustin, from left, Larina Chen and NAME Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014
Tina Agustin, from left, Larina Chen and another bridesmaid. Courtesy photo
Julie Weiner, from left, Jean Thorsen, Larina Chen and Jessica Weiner Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014
Julie Weiner, from left, Jean Thorsen, Larina Chen and Jessica Weiner Courtesy photo
Rosie, from left, me and Eva Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014
Bridesmaids Rosie Colonna, from left, Larina Chen and Eva Mercado. Courtesy photo
NAME, from left, Larina Chen, Tina Agustin and Alma Candelario Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014
Larina Chen, second from left, with bride Tina Agustin and bridesmaids. Photo courtesy of © Carolyn Jones Photography
Tina Agustin, from left, Larina Chen and NAME Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014
Julie Weiner, from left, Jean Thorsen, Larina Chen and Jessica Weiner Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014
Rosie, from left, me and Eva Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014
NAME, from left, Larina Chen, Tina Agustin and Alma Candelario Wonderful Weddings Always a Bridesmaid February 2014

This is one girl's real-life tale of always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I am just three dresses shy from being Katherine Heigel in 27 Dresses, except Ed Burns doesn’t show up in my version.

When you’ve reached my age (let's say a healthy mid-30s something), you will undoubtedly have been invited to countless weddings, have attended more than half and maybe even have been asked to join the wedding party as a groomsman or bridesmaid. I have been that lucky two dozen times and have found myself wearing everything from a lavish Vera Wang satin gown to an ill-fitting teal blue dress and carrying a bundle of lilies in one hand.

A bridesmaid's fiancé chose that moment to inform her that he had been having an affair and their wedding was off.

You don’t fully know how much responsibility the job of bridesmaid bears until you are knee deep in it. And you are never just a bridesmaid. You’re going to wear many hats: event planner, art teacher, even therapist.

And then there is the expense of this coveted role. There is the dress, alterations, jewelry, then come hair and make up, dying the shoes to match the dress that you’ll wear only once. That tally does not include gifts, showers and the bachelorette party, which might include airfare. Welcome to my world of taffeta.

My experiences have been colorful. There was the bride who had not one but three showers. Then came the humiliating moment of unwrapping gifts revealing that I had bought a single place setting of flatware, not knowing that those should come in twos. That was a rookie mistake during wedding number one.

While at church during wedding three, a bridesmaid's fiancé chose that moment to inform her that he had been having an affair and their wedding was off. Talk about stealing the bride’s thunder. The bride spent the rest of the night tending to her frazzled bridesmaid rather than her guests.

How about the bachelorette party  when our bride-to-be passed out face down before we even made it to our first bar?

For wedding number six, I tried to get out of attending a shower, claiming I had car trouble. But the bride volunteered another bridesmaid to be give me a ride.

For wedding number nine, I dragged a bridesmaid to the bathroom to clean her up after her projectile vomiting (Bridesmaids, anyone?) on the dance floor during the chicken dance. How about the bachelorette party for wedding number 10 when our bride-to-be passed out face down before we even made it to our first bar?

Cut to more recent times, I came home one night after happy hour and I remembered that I needed to record my well wishes for the wedding video montage. Other members of the wedding party did funny skits, whereas I slurred a freestyle poem with a laptop cam five inches from my face. 

I’ve even had two weddings to attend in one night, in different cities, leaving one reception right after dinner and arriving at another reception just as it was winding down.

The weddings that I’ve participated in blend together, some brides and grooms I’ve lost touch with post-nuptials but the memory of me is preserved somewhere on their mantel or tucked away in a photo album.

So brides, go easy on your ladies-in-waiting. We want your special day to go well. I have never had the pleasure of being the maid of honor, but when that day comes, I’ll be ready to paarrtyyy.

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